3 Rules for Naming Companies

I came across this interesting post by Joe Colopy of Bronto Software. Joe gives us his three rules for naming a company:

1. Give it a personality
The great challenge in marketing technology is putting a personality on what you do. Some how “Distributed Computing of Large Scale Crawling Projects” or DCLSCP wouldn’t be nearly as compelling as the name Google, although the name probably more accurately describes the founders’ original intentions. Bronto Software is named after a distinguishable thing, which helps us immensely in establishing a brand around a set of web services. Red Hat, named after a lacrosse’s cap of one of its founders, followed similar thinking and out branded their competitors with faceless names like Caldera, TurboLinux and Suse.

2. Avoid initials
Too often I see companies that decide to name themselves after the initials of their founders. This tends to more common in small consulting services. Avoid this temptation. Although self-flattering and cool for about 30 seconds, you’ll be wasting a perfect branding opportunity — refer to rule #1.

3. Include what you do
Insert the company’s function into the name, especially when you are just launching the business. I know that the rave in the Internet space is to think of something clever like Yahoo or Google but, in general, I prefer company names that spell out the function a little more clearly. Is this contradictory to #1 and #2? Doesn’t have to be. For example, Bronto Software started off BrontoMail. Only later did we switch it to have broader scope. Earlier on, it is easier to land sales and market with a self-descriptor in the name. Plus, if the business takes off, then you can name it whatever you like and not worry about naming suggestions in blogs such as these.


Go visit Joe’s blog and Bronto Software’s website. I recommended Bronto to my company as our email solutions provider and I have been happy ever since.

You might be able to discern (from this post or a previous one) that I am a fan of Bronto. I like the fact that the software is very powerful and the company has a young, exciting vibe. Go check them out.

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Who am I ?

My name is Michael Morton. I believe in bringing energy and professionalism into the office, that knowledge is power, that leadership trumps management, that customers are more influential than advertisements, that content is king, and that two heads are better than one. I currently lead the marketing efforts of the Strategic Alliances department of my company. Let’s talk marketing!

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